Australia's ex-premier Rudd visits HK Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd will give a speech tomorrow at a lunch hosted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau at Kowloon's W Hotel. Rudd, now a key parliament member, will use the occasion to "reflect [on] Australia's changing place in Asia". Rudd, a former diplomat to China who is fluent in Putonghua, visited Tianjin this month for a World Economic Forum meeting. HKU hosts debate on US election Representatives in Asia from America's Republican and Democratic parties will take part in a debate hosted by broadcaster CNN on the US presidential election. Among issues to be discussed in the University of Hong Kong's Wang Gungwu Theatre in Pok Fu Lam is the November 6 election's impact on Asia. Hawks gather as LDP chooses new leader The Liberal Democratic Party, now Japan's biggest opposition party after governing the country for half a century until 2009, holds a leadership election, amid calls for a more assertive response to China's territorial claims. Former defence minister Shigeru Ishiba seen as the main rival to the front runner, secretary general Nobuteru Ishihara, urged that Japan's pacifist constitution be revised to ease limits on military actions. National education boycott looms The first of two classroom boycotts called by activists of Socialist Action is due to be held today, with the other planned for October 10. The protest comes amid warnings from unionists that the government needs to completely withdraw its plans to introduce a curriculum of moral and national education. After days of mass rallies outside the government headquarters in Admiralty earlier this month, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying gave schools the power to decide whether and how to adopt the programme. Former Murdoch editor has a date in court Rebekah Brooks, a former top aide to media mogul Rupert Murdoch and a former editor of the now-defunct News of the World , is expected to plead when she appears in a south London Crown Court to face charges related to illegal phone hacking by her former newspaper. Brooks, 44, was charged earlier this year along with a private investigator and seven other executives, editors and journalists, who have been accused of conspiring to hack into the phones of 600 potential victims. Mogul to hear verdict on lèse-majesté charge A court in Bangkok will issue its verdict in the case of Thai media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul, the royalist "yellow shirt" leader who has been accused of lèse-majesté. Sondhi, who is out on bail of 10 million baht (HK$2.5 million) pending his appeal against a conviction in February on securities fraud, has been accused of insulting the monarchy by quoting a member of the rival "red shirts".